Last week the government made two positive housing announcements. The first was that more than 350,000 people had benefited from its Help to Buy Scheme, and the second was the launch of Homes England – which aims to unlock land and build houses where they are needed most.

Building more homes is the key to fixing many of the problems with the housing market, and the Government is building new homes at record levels, with 217,350 “additional dwellings” built in England last year.

However, more can be done, which is why the Chancellor announced the Government’s commitment to a target of building 300,000 homes a year, and an increase in the Government’s investment in home building to £44bn.

In order to facilitate home building the government has plans to create Homes England, which aims to bring together money, expertise and planning advice to ensure that sufficient homes are built where they are needed most and where it is most appropriate.

The need for new housing in Swindon has been acknowledged by all parties on the council, and it is great to see developments such as Tadpole Garden Village take shape.

Looking to the future, it is also positive to see developments such as Nationwide’s £55m new home investment at Oakfield in the pipeline.

A big part of the aim to build new homes is to help young people achieve their ambition of owning their own home. This is why the Government has also abolished stamp duty for first time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000, or on the first £300,000 of properties worth up to £500,000 – this has meant that 80% of first-time buyers no longer pay stamp duty.

So far this has helped 4,000 first-time buyers a week get on to the housing ladder, with 16,000 having taken advantage of the scheme since it was announced.

I remember the excitement of getting the keys to my house in Taw Hill, and I am delighted that - thanks to Help to Buy and the abolition of stamp duty - more and more people have been able to do the same.

Bizarrely the Labour Party voted against the abolition of stamp duty in the House of Commons, despite the policy being a pledge in its manifesto only six months ago.

It is a shame to see Labour putting party politics above helping people achieve their ambition of owning their own home.

To support people who rent, the Government sounded a warning to unscrupulous landlords, and announced measures to ensure they do not let over-crowded and sub-standard homes.

The Government is working hard to drive up safety and standards in the private rented sector, and have already brought in fines of up to £30,000 for dodgy landlords, protections for tenants from revenge evictions, and provided £12m funding for councils to take enforcement action in hotspot areas.

The Government has now set out plans on how landlords renting properties in England occupied by five or more people, or from two or more separate households will need to be licensed, as well as new rules setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in houses of multiple occupation to prevent overcrowding.

The government is committed to fixing the broken housing market, and I am glad to see this commitment is being followed up by action.